The Salmonella species of bacteria have been associated with calf enteritis but like E. coli, Salmonella has a strong tendency to spread beyond the gut and cause widespread disease. The result of this invasion is damage to the tissue, so that water and food cannot be absorbed. Salmonella can readily invade the rest of the body, causing blood poisoning and rapid death. Salmonella produces a potent toxin or an endotoxin (poison) within its own cells. Clinical signs associated with Salmonellosis include bloody diarrhea, fibrin in the feces, depression and elevated temperature. The disease is more severe in young or debilitated calves. Infected calves can shed the organism in feces, urine, saliva and nasal secretions, contaminating everything they touch and everything that touches them.
Escherichia coli is almost the only diarrhea that occurs within the first three days of life, often on the first day. The E. coli bacteria releases a toxin that damages the cell lining of the gut, causing the normal absorptive capacity of the intestine to change and results in fluids and electrolytes being secreted and lost. This process can pump so much fluid into the gut that the calf dies before the external signs of diarrhea appear. Prevention involves cleanliness and vaccination of cows followed by proper colostrum management.